Profamilia Nicaragua Celebrates 42 Years of Promoting Health and Well-being
Mia Mazer, Media and Communications Intern
"Sometimes abuse makes us lose our self-esteem,” says Angela, a member of Mutuo Apoyo, a support group at Profamilia Nicaragua for women who have survived gender-based violence. “What Profamilia is doing is a step in the right direction. It has been a breakthrough for me. Here, we are informing each other of the rights that one has as a woman."
On September 3rd Profamilia celebrated 42 years of providing critical health services and advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Nicaragua. Profamilia’s 18 clinics nationwide are the only interaction many people have with the health system. According to Dr. Maria Isabel Corea Ramirez, director of PROFAMILIA’s clinic in Tipitapa, Nicaragua, this is why screening for gender-based violence during prenatal checkups and general consultations is critical. In Nicaragua, where rates of violence against women are high and there is a culture of silence around the issue, less than half of all women who experience violence seek any kind of assistance.
To counter these barriers, Dr. Ramirez and her colleagues developed a two-fold approach to helping those in need: Profamilia hosts a monthly peer support group for women who have experienced violence, “Mutuo Apoyo,” and provides comprehensive sexuality education in the local schools. The youth program, Dr. Ramirez explains, not only helps young people speak out against violence and build equitable relationships, but also educates mothers about violence against women and encourages them to seek support.
Profamilia also aims to address high adolescent pregnancy rates by providing comprehensive sexuality education that dispels myths and educates young people about sexual and reproductive health. As a member of the Mesoamerican Coalition, Profamilia engages in national and regional advocacy projects that promote comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services.
As the largest NGO providing sexual and reproductive health care in Nicaragua, Profamilia’s services are crucial for those who come to their clinics for care. Today we celebrate its 42 years of achievements and its work for further advancement in the future.